The Ming Pao Category II Indecent Material
Earlier, the Chinese University Student Press had published some survey questions and results in its 'erotic' section. Subsequently, that section has been classified as Category II Indecent material by the Obscene Articles Tribunal (consisting of one magistrate and two adjudicators) in Hong Kong. The student editors face a maximum penalty of HK$400,000 and 12 months in jail. The student editors are presently applying for a review of that judgment.
Meanwhile, for purpose of discussion, Ming Pao used its Sunday Life Section on May 13, 2007 to address this issue for the general public to read (note: The Chinese University Student Press is only distributed on the Chinese University of Hong Kong campus and most other citizens have never read the controversial essays that were discussed in the media). Ming Pao did not reproduce what was published in Chinese University Student Press. Rather, it took the survey questions and asked a cultural writer to formulate different sets of answers in order to provoke thoughts and discussions. For its trouble, Ming Pao's essay has also been classified as Category II Indecent material by the Obscene Articles Tribunal (consisting of one magistrate and two adjudicators) in Hong Kong. Ming Pao faces a maximum penalty of HK$400,000 and 12 months in jail.
Unless you have read the original materials, you cannot judge because all you have got is filtered media commentary and opinion. Indeed, the media have given different opinions based upon their editorial stances. The Ming Pao essay has been translated here, so that you can decide for yourself. In so doing, I am reproducing material that has already been classified as Category II Indecent. As such, I face a maximum penalty of HK$400,000 and 12 months in jail if someone should denounce me to the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority. (WARNING: If you even so much as hyperlink to this page, you will run the same risk as well). However, since my English translation is not necessary identical to the original Chinese essay (for example, the Ming Pao article used ■■■■■■■■ whereas I re-introduced 'father/mother/brother/sister' to make it clear that the reference was about incest), TELA will have to refer the case to the Obscene Articles Tribunal for classification. The OAT will have to convene a panel of one magistrate and two adjudicators. Now wouldn't it be insane if the two adjudicators come up with a different decision than the ones who pronounced judgment on Ming Pao? Hee hee hee ...
Alternately, I am quite prepared to accept whatever consequences. There are other Chinese-language bloggers who are already reproducing the Category II Indecent essay of Ming Pao.
(Ming Pao via Sina.com.hk) Three Types of Answers to the Erotic Survey Questionnaire. May 13, 2007.
At a time when Hong Kong society is still debating about whether "lemon tea" should be the subject title for essay composition in the joint school examinations, the mainland Chinese university entrance examination had already used "the answers are rich and colorful" as the essay title in year 2000 in order to judge the creativity and writing skills of their students. As a test title, "the answers are rich and colorful" creates a space for questioning -- what kind of topic will bring out rich and colorful answers? The assignment of the students was not just writing an essay, for they must show some skill in asking questions.
Asking questions is a skill. The affair of the erotic page in the Chinese University student newspapers has been in the news for almost one week. The most critical comments have been directed against the fourteen survey questions about preferences and guidance. Fortunately, while the questions may be pathetic, the answers may nevertheless be rich and colorful.
In the following, we have especially prepared three sets of model answers to those survey questions. You can take whatever you want based upon your needs. Here are the backgrounds of the three respondents:
A. The good model child answer (note: this is especially suitable for persons who are concerned about the reputation of the school, the character of university students and social morals).
B. "A grassroots person"
C. "A sterilized ivory tower inhabitant"
Here is the Q&A:
Q1. Do you feel that making love is boring?
A: The teacher said, "Premarital sex is wrong."
B. Boring? It beats tilling the fields under the sun or in the rain? You university students who think making love is boring are wasting taxpayer money!
C. The question presupposes that the respondent has sexual experience and assumes that making love is boring . This violates the principles of objectivity and neutrality. I recommend that you take the course <Social Research Methods 101>.
Q2. Do you feel that making love is annoying? What is most annoying about it?
A. Love is sacrosanct. Sex is only a very small part of it. Love is for eternity. My friend's friend said that if you close your eyes, the minutes will pass by quickly. Oh! Did I misspeak? Excuse me!
B. Can it be more annoying than answering this survey questionnaire? Are you done yet?
C. The mistakes in Q1 were repeated. Moreover, the topic is too broad and it will be difficult to collect the data. You are recommended to use a structured questionnaire. Using this question as illustration: What do you think is most annoying about making love?
a. seeking and then persuading a person who would have a relationship with you.
b. seeking an ideal venue for engaging in sexual intercourse.
c. the preparations before sexual intercourse (please list the individual items)
d. the process of sexual intercourse itself (please list the individual items)
e. the post-evaluation and follow-up work after sexual intercourse has taken place (please list the individual items)
Q3. Have you ever fantasized about making love with your father, mother, brother or sister?
A. Absolutely not. The family is the foundation of the society. The harmonious society is premised upon the harmonious family. Chinese tradition values the three cardinal guides and the five constant virtues. The three cardinal guides are ... (approximately one thousand words have been omitted here)
B. You open up the court page in the newspapers. Every other day or so, there is some news about some dad molesting his daughter, or an old man molesting his stepdaughter and so on. The reporters write the stories as if they were there and watched everything. It is sufficient just to read these stories.
C. Incest is the number one taboo in human society. Precisely for this reason, incest has become the theme of a countless number of literary works and motion pictures. Through exploring this topic, the authors challenge and subvert the mode of thinking that mankind has accepted as custom, or even as moral value. For example, in the South Korean movie <Original Sinner>, the avenger arranged for the father and daughter to commit incest unknowingly. Meanwhile, the avenger was in love with his sister. The movie forced the audience to re-consider the multiple meanings and diverse perspectives on incest. The characteristic of the post-modernist society is that it can realize man's recognition and confusion about his multiple identities ... (approximately ten thousand words have been omitted here)
Q4. Have you peeped at people bathing, changing clothes, masturbating or making love?
A. Confucius said, "Do not watch what is improper; do not listen to what is improper; do not speak improperly and do not act improperly." Since this question is improper, I shall not answer.
B. I work from 6am to midnight. I have not seen my family for some time. How do I have the spare time to watch them bathe? Besides, you are university students so you ought to be fighting for maximum wages and minimum working hours! (note: the grassroots person must have made a mistake because he probably meant minimum wages and maximum working hours).
C. In English, the act of peeping is known as voyeurism, which is derived from the French verb voir. It refers to the derivation of pleasure from the act of watching the bodies of other people or their sexual activities. This is likely to bring out serious personality disorders. Those students who answer "Yes" should contact the university health clinic or guidance center immediately.
Q5. On the street, which types of persons (or animals/objects) arouse your desire most of all?
A. The teacher said, "In a society filled with lust and consumerism, we must watch over our wild hearts and not let desires take control over us."
B. What is desire? How is it different from lust?
C. The many ways of people and the street scenes can all become the sources of inspiration. For people like us who value the pursuit of knowledge and satisfaction, the verb 'arouse' is too primitive and bestial, and therefore quite inappropriate.
Q6. Have you ever imagined making love with your friend's boyfriend/girlfriend?
A. I told you already that premarital sex is wrong.
B. You must not covert the wife of a friend. Don't you understand this principle?
C. My best friends are all great philosophers. I only communicate with them through the works that they hand down for eternity.
Q7. If you did, how would you cope with the fantasy about the boyfriend/girlfriend of your best friend?
Q8. Will you try to realize that fantasy? If so, how will you do it?
A. I will repeat it once more. I have joined the campaign of making a virginity pledge before I marry as run by some organization or the other. I cannot even think about this.
B. Why is your question so weird? Cope with what? A fantasy is a fantasy. What is there to cope with?
C. These are two questions and they seem to imply that there is a connection between fantasy and practice. A fantasy is actually a very personal and private thought process. It is a human activity that people will engage it consciously or unconconsciouusly when they are awake. Fantasy do not have an essential relationship with reality, and does not require special handling. When people fantasize about something, they are revealing desires that they may not be able to articulate. I recommend that those students who are interested in studying this topic should use content analysis to analyze the stories in the erotic pages of the mainstream newspapers (aka sexy page, dirty page, porno page) and tabulate the most frequently appearing topics in order to explore the collective sexual consciousness of the people of Hong Kong.
Q9. When you masturbate, whom do you think about?
A. If necessary, I will swim, run, read or walk on the beach.
B. Is it necessary to masturbate?
C. There shouldn't be any need? Masturbation is the best moment to explore one's body. You are the means as well as the ends.
Q10. Which animal do you want to make love with most of all?
A. Can I answer with "Hello mewme"?
B. Do you mean an animal? If you make it with an animal, can you still call that love?
C. Sorry, I have not conducted the relevant research. Actually, scholars have divergent opinions on this topic without having arrived at any definitive conclusion. Let me research the archives before I reply to you.
Q11. What do you think is the optimal number of men and women that you make love to at one time?
A. Your question is going too far. What is your student ID number? I am going to denounce you immediately.
B. My mind is willing, but my body is unable.
C. The Wei Xiaobao scenario of having seven wives under the same blanket is the fantasy of the little man. Our students should consult the 1984 publication about "Old Zhou's body" by Readers Digest to understand the physiology of the human body first before attempting to answer this question.
Q12. Where in the Chinese University of Hong Kong do you want to make love most of all?
A. My first choice in the university entrance examination is Hong Kong University.
B. Do you mean a place to become a good person?
C. Making love is an act between two persons. Respect is the key to maintaining a good relationship. The two sides need to negotiate to arrive at a consensus before reaching a decision. Recommended further reading: "35 dating tips that you must know."
Q13. Do you feel that the ban on opposite sex students staying overnight in student dormitories is prejudicial against heterosexual love?
A. If I were accepted by Hong Kong University, I would definitely apply to live in the dormitories. I heard that the dormitory experience is useful. We will get plenty of opportunity to learn about sex and collective life through 'happy corner,' 'dem cheers' and other activities. Can I answer this question when the time comes?
B. Does having too many opposite sex partners result in prejudice against you?
C. This question fails totally, because there are too many assumptions and there is some confusion about the theme. Besides, you need to explain the connection between "man and woman staying together overnight" and "prejudice against heterosexual love."
Q14. Have you ever let the problems in your sex life (which you cannot say) affect your love life?
A. I have neither sex nor love. I concentrate on studying, I try my best to be a good person and I make contributions towards society. Are you happy with that, Teacher?
B. "A man is nothing but a plaything. It is no big deal. Love is just a game ..."
C. First, let us make this quite clear. Are you asking about a 'causal relationship' or a 'correlation'? They are completely different matters ... (The entire courseware on research methodology has been deleted in the following.)
In the above model answers, the three types of responses may not have been rich and colorful. Furthermore, they are probably guilty of being evasive. But being evasive is a characteristic of Hong Kong society. That is the reason why the student newspaper said that it wants to "reflect on the monolithic discourse. Meanwhile, the university authorities used "indecent and vulgar," "going beyond the acceptable moral bottom line," "causing uneasiness," "impacting the interests of other students of the Chinese University of Hong," "damaging the reputation of the Chinese University of Hong Kong" and other comments to respond to the affair. They did not deal with whether the students' erotic page was thought-provoking, or whether those thoughts were deep and significant, or how to make people think, and so on. Instead, the dialogue was turned into a confrontation, and this was a wasted opportunity for learning.
Can Hong Kong accept "rich and colorful answers"? From top to bottom, right to left, does it only expect safe and acceptable standard answers?
Editor's note: This article used the techniques of the mainland Chinese erotic novel <The Forever Vigorous Ancient Capital My Xi'an 废都> by Jian Ping'ao (賈平凹).
[Blogger's comments] The original Ming Pao article is behind a firewall, but the same article is reproducted officially at Sina.com.hk. Strange, isn't? The Ming Pao article was classified by the Obscene Articles Tribunal as Category II Indecent with a maximum penaly of HK$400,000 and 12 months in jail. But nobody cares about the same article at Sina.com.hk. Why? Because the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority will do nothing until a complaint comes in.]
For those in mainland China, here is the essay in simplified Chinese characters:
C.没有这个需要吧？自慰是探索自己身体的最佳时刻，自己是工具（the means），也是目标（the end）。